Why does the bar bend during a squat
You may experience an issue where the bar bends during your squat. We explain why this happens and whether it is safe or not to continue

Why do you feel the bar bend during a squat?

Why does the bar bend during your squat

We talk to lots of people that either use their own equipment at home, work out in a commercial gym or have been to a private gym before. One of the questions we get asked is why does the bar bend when they are doing a squat. Well here is an explanation to help uncover why it happens

Is using a bent bar OK for squats?

No. The bar may roll back and forth and affect your balance, reducing your squat’s efficiency. If you lose too much balance, you may fall over which can be dangerous for you and/or other people training in the gym.

Why does the bar bend during your squat

The barbell’s tensile strength is low and bending because the bar is not good. At SPC Performance Lab, all of our bars have high tensile strength, such as our Samtek and Rogue barbells, so the bar will not bend unless doing very heavy lifts (eg >250kg). 

We place a very high focus on providing competition grade equipment in our private gym to ensure every person can train in safety & if they want, train for competitions as well.

Why do squat bars bend so much?

The squat bars shouldn’t bend a lot. This means the bar is cheap and/or the tensile strength of the barbell is low.

Is it safe to do squats if the bar is bending, what can potentially happen?

No. The bar may roll back and forth and affect your balance, reducing your squat’s efficiency. If you lose too much balance, you may fall over.

SPC Performance Lab provides a free gym trial so that you can see if we are a good fit for your workout goals. No catches, no gimmicks, no contracts. Just try our gym out

How do I keep my bar stable when squatting?

Head coach form SPC Performance Lab has made a video explaining how to correctly hold the barbell during squats to keep the barbell stable, you can view it below 

Why does the bar lean to one side when I squat?

The bar is not symmetrical on your back. It may be placed unevenly, you may be pulling one side of the barbell harder than the other, or your body may be asymmetrical (which is normal). To fix this, it is simple: hold the bar symmetrical. Yes, it sounds silly, but this is how you fix it.

To go into more detail – Take a video directly from the back or front of you, squat, and check to see the barbell placement. Pull a little harder down on the higher-up side if it’s leaning to one side so the barbell sits evenly on your back. You will likely find holding the bar straight feels like it is not straight. Take a mental note of how a straight barbell on your back feels (it probably feels like it’s leaning to one side, but it’s straight) – Now you know when you experience that weird feeling of it leaning to one side, this probably means the barbell is straight.

Squat again, take a video, check the barbell, adjust the barbell in the following sets, and repeat. With practice, you will start to feel when the barbell is and is not in the correct position on your back. With practice, a straight barbell will become your norm. However, you will need a combination of visual and kinesthetic feedback.

How do I stop folding over in low bar squat?

Head coach at SPC Performance Lab has made a detailed video of the different technique errors which can cause the folding over error in a low bar squat

At what weight does the bar bend?

This will depend on the tensile strength of the barbell. The higher the tensile strength, the less it will bend. Expensive barbells like those used at SPC Performance Lab such as Samtek and Rogue barbells, typically show minor signs of bending from around 250kg and up.  

If you have any more questions then you can contact us to organise a free consultation, take out a free gym trial or simply visit our powerlifting gym to see what we can offer & how we can help you reach your goals.

Paul Attard
Paul Attard

Paul is the founder and head coach of SPC Performance Lab. Paul has been coaching since 2014 and has worked with all different types of people. From first timers learning the basics, all the way up to the experienced power-lifting competitors.

He tailors his approach depending on the needs, goals and experience of the individual. Paul has extensive theoretical and practical coaching experience.

- Masters of Sports & Exercise Science (Strength & Conditioning)
- Bachelor’s degree in Exercise & Sports Science with First Class Honours
- Competed and won multiple natural body-building shows & power-lifting competitions.
- Held an Australian power-lifting record.

Free advice

SPC Performance Lab is a gym in Taren Point in the Sutherland Shire, Sydney NSW. It is a private gym that offers strength training, powerlifting and body building training. The gym is open 24 hours, 7 days a week with membership options that include casual or regular visits.

Paul also provides a choice of personal training one on one or the option of online coaching.

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